In October 2017, close to 40 young people ages 9 to 22 came together to collaboratively draft a Vermont Youth Declaration of Rights. Using only their own ideas and words, they outlined nine focus areas that covered subjects and needs they cared about. They came together from all over Vermont to express their ideas and help broaden the conversation around policy decisions that affect youth.
The key question that framed the creation of the Youth Declaration of Rights was:
What do you, as a young person in Vermont, need in order to be the best version of yourself?
In response, the youth developed the framework for the rights, that categories, and all the wording. The only changes we made in the final document was to format it and to fix a few spelling errors. We presented the Youth Declaration of Rights to the Vermont Child Poverty Council on November 16, 2017 and it is used as a foundation document for the VT9to26 Coalition.
Youth authors signing the YDR on October 2017.